Interview with a Reiki Master - Jane Lewis
I love learning about anything. This is one of the reasons why I trained to become an Instructional Designer. I create online and classroom training because I love to learn, and I want to share the fun with my training audience. I can glean interesting nuggets of information from just about any topic - even dry topics like banking regulations and hardware specifications (for instance, did you know that using the wrong wiring with a device can cause the device to catch on fire?).
Some time ago I decided it was time to further my metaphysical education and learn Reiki. I asked a friend, who is a Reiki master, to refer me to a Reiki teacher. She referred me to Jane Lewis.
Jane Lewis has lived and worked in Indiana (Pendleton) all her life. She is a long-time Reiki Master, and has performed Reiki on countless clients over the years and trained 41 students to become Reiki masters.
I was blown away by my first class with Jane. You know that over-used saying, "Little did I know that, on that day, my whole life would change."? In my case, that is actually true. I was so impressed by Jane's skill, her sweet, kind and genuinely good spirit, and the pure, powerful energy of Reiki that I continued with our sessions until I was a third-level certified Reiki Master.
My life has been a whirlwind since that time, as Reiki took over my life and led me gently, but firmly, to my new role as a Tarot and Reiki practitioner and blog writer. I love this path I'm on now, and I thank Jane for giving me the tools to walk this true path of mine.
A couple days ago, I interviewed Jane so I could share with you her story: how she started Reiki, what she thinks Reiki is and how it works, and the advice she has for other Reiki practitioners. Here is my interview with the Reiki Master, Jane Lewis:
Why did you start learning to do Reiki? What drew you to it?
I think I was drawn to Reiki because my life was in a such an unhappy place at the time. I actually started doing Reiki before I knew it was Reiki. I was reading and studying and trying to get myself into a happy place, rather than trying to find someone else to get me into a happy place. I just started expanding and searching and digging and reading and talking to people about healing…which led to me learning to heal myself and become happy...which ultimately led me to help heal other people.
How did you come to hear about Reiki?
I was very young when I started my search for healing and a means to be happy inside – happy and at peace in this lifetime. I was reading and talking to anyone I felt was wiser than I was to find out how to be happy.
I started doing hands-on healing, not knowing that this was Reiki, when I was about 25 years old. I learned to visualize – I bought a tape that described how to visualize in your inner mind so I started doing various visualization exercises. Then I read a book by Dr. Joseph Campbell called “ The Power of Your Subconscious Mind”. I started reading that and applying the principles in the book, and doing the exercises and it worked!
Time went on, and my children grew up. My oldest child moved to Atlanta, Georgia. I kept learning all that I could in Indiana. One year, my son in Atlanta had a birthday party. I traveled to Atlanta to celebrate his birthday with him, and it was the best party ever! There was such a diverse crowd of interesting characters. One friend of my son’s was there. I hadn’t seen his friend for awhile, so I asked him what he was doing these days, and he said, “I’m a Reiki master.” I immediately responded, “I don’t even know what that is, but I’m going to be that, too.” That was the first time I heard the word 'Reiki'.
I traveled back to Indiana and tried 5 times to find someone here to teach me Reiki. I couldn’t find anyone who could teach Reiki to me. I would set up an appointment with a potential teacher, but they always canceled, or I found out that they weren’t teaching Reiki anymore.
I finally found a lady with a clinic in Carmel, Indiana. I went to the appointment and she forgot that we made the appointment! Later, I called her, frustrated, and said, “I don’t know why it’s so hard to find someone to teach me Reiki! I know I can do Reiki if I can only find a teacher. What should I do? Can you help me?”.
She said, “You can't find a teacher because you already know it better than everyone else. Come in, and I’ll teach you what I know, but I’m intuitive and I know that YOU are the Reiki teacher."
So, I went into her office, and the lady was right. She really didn’t know much about Reiki, but she gave me the attunements, and I got so many books to learn all that I could about Reiki – everything she couldn’t teach me.
When you first started doing Reiki, how did you get clients?
My daughter is a massage therapist. I rented her room when she wasn’t using it, so I could perform Reiki on her clients. If her clients were in pain, she would refer them to me.
I started doing Reiki with the hands-on method because that’s all I knew. But I soon realized that hands-on wasn’t working that well for me. Also, I was starting clients face-up, then turning them on their backside so in the middle of the session they would have to turn over. So, my clients couldn’t relax because I was poking on them and making them turn. I prayed on this, and decided to do my own thing. I just started doing Reiki while not touching them - just working in their energy field. What a miracle! That worked so much better. Then I just started adding practices that I felt intuitively would work, and I created my own system.
I do follow the path of Usui - I follow his method - but I do it to my own tune. I encourage all my students to do the same – do what works for you.
Not everyone knows about Reiki. When you were first learning about Reiki years ago, what did the people around you think about your Reiki practice? Did anyone react negatively to your practice?
I was in a small town (Pendleton) and there was some negative reaction to my practice.
In other cases, I think people were skeptical about what I was doing. My friends weren’t – they understood, they got it, in fact most of them joined in. I trained most of them to do Reiki.
How did you explain Reiki to people in a way that you felt they could understand?
I think, and I still believe to this day, that Reiki provides balance within. Actually, I felt this morning before I left to run errands that I was a little off-balance. So, I started doing Reiki on myself, as I do when that happens. As I’m doing Reiki I make statements to myself, “I choose to be balanced in this lifetime." After all of these years of doing Reiki, or that type of energy work before I even knew what it was called, I've learned that everything in the universe is balanced, If it is not balanced, it is not right. It’s not functioning properly.
For example: day and night. We need to be awake and aware, living and moving; but then we need to be at rest. Another example: love and hate. If you’re just only loving, and never know hate, you can’t get in the middle and the balance of it all. That’s what we do in Reiki: we balance the energy. If you look in the universe, you find a million lessons of things that need to be balanced. Things need to have a balance – a beginning and an end. When we balance in Reiki we balance the energy so it’s neither too much or too little – it’s just right.
To me, Reiki is balancing and it’s the answer to everything. It’s so simplistic but true.
When you explained this to people, do you think that helped people to understand Reiki?
Yes, and I would also do Reiki on individuals. I would say, “Let me try it on you and see what you think." One person was actually my mother, she was older and not into metaphysical concepts too much, and I did Reiki on her. After this, she told her friends how much it helped her, and then they wanted me to do Reiki on them.
I’ve done Reiki on my current husband ever since we married. Several years ago, he had to have colon cancer surgery. The surgeon and the anesthesiologist were female. I asked them before the surgery if I could do Reiki on him before he went in. They were surprised, and said “Whaaaat?”. I said, “I’m just going to balance him out.”
And they said, “Well, sure, I guess.”. (Laughs). So, I’m in there doing Reiki on him and they’re starting to put him under. They’re kind of looking at me like I’m a nut. However, after the surgery, the surgeon comes to me and says, “I don’t know what Reiki is, but he was the sickest and oldest patient I had today, but he did better than anyone I’ve operated on today. Could you do Reiki on me?”
So, when people understand Reiki, when they see physical evidence that balancing someone out can make the difference between life and death, they kind of get on the bandwagon with you!
Do you see signs that the medical community is opening up to using Reiki to help heal patients?
Definitely! Many nurses are trained in Reiki. And this will really shock you – I have articles to prove this – but the Catholic church is into Reiki and some of their nuns teach Reiki. I’m sure how they teach it is not my method, but who cares? They’re getting the idea out there.
So, it is becoming more mainstream. I just finished training my 41st Reiki master!
What do you think Reiki is, and why does it work? Why does it balance?
First of all, I think it’s a way of life. I live it, I teach it, I study it all the time. It's not only a physical, lay your hands-on healing method, but it’s a lifestyle. Remember when I told you the phrases to say every day, “Just for today, I will not worry, I will not harm my neighbor, etc.?”. It’s living with the best mindset that I can find. That’s how I think of it.
We’re not going to be perfect here on Earth. We’re here to learn. Life is a learning curve, and we don’t leave until we learn certain lessons we agreed to learn during this lifetime. I try to learn my lessons with a mindset that is open and loving and forgiving. I attribute that to Reiki. Reiki teaches us that we don’t have to make a commitment long-term. We only have to commit for today – just for today.
I can’t always do this mindset because I’m not perfect. But I try to always have that Reiki mindset.
When you’re doing Reiki, what do you call that energy that is Reiki?
That energy is the Universe energy. It is the pure Love and energy that you were created with. It’s perfect. I say it’s God, but even if you didn’t believe in God, it’s still the energy from your Creator. It doesn’t know anything but Love.
Sometimes people will call me and say, “I’m going through a divorce right now, can you put a hex on my husband?” I say, “If you’re talking about Reiki – Reiki doesn’t know anything but love, so it would be impossible for me to do that.” We heal with balance, but that balance is that perfect Love that we were created with. We lose that along the way, but we regain it with Reiki.
That’s the only way to explain it. There is no other way. When we do Reiki, we pass energy through the crown into the Earth. That’s God grounding us to this lifetime.
How is Reiki different from other types of energy work, like energy work used in shamanism?
Well, I would say there are a lot of similarities. We are probably all of the same mindset. I call all of us in these fields lightworkers – we’re all of the light, we’re all working for the light, we’re all hoping for the best, we’re praying for peace on earth - so we’re all similar.
I think what sets Reiki apart from other types of energy workers, like shamans, is the attunements. I pass the energy that I get from the pure Love energy in attunements – then you pass this love energy on to others The learning of those attunements sets us aside.
How do you customize Reiki for each individual?
Well, I think Reiki tells you what an individual needs. When you’re standing at a person’s head, at their crown, at the beginning of a Reiki session and you step into their energy, you can instantly feel what their energy is. No two individuals are the same – sometimes the energy is so shocking that it hurts, sometimes it’s an up and down motion, sometimes it’s a wave, sometimes it’s hot and cold. So it feels different for each person.
From that energy feel, you’ll be able to tell what this person needs. For example, if you get to the person’s heart chakra and it feels very hot, so hot that you start to sweat a little, you’re like, “Oh, I know that means there’s a heart blockage." That doesn’t mean that the actual heart is blocked up, that just means that their emotional state in the heart area is so blocked, that they can’t possibly be functioning at optimum level. Energy can’t flow well through the body if there is energy blocked in one part of the body.
The heart chakra is the chakra of love and hate, of yin and yang, male and female. Now we’re starting to understand this person a little better, and we realize that they’re having issues with this area of their emotions. For instance, if the energy is really low we know that they are really ill. Because most of the time a person’s energy can fill a room.
We learn what each person needs by the feel of the energy.
Do you think Reiki is most suited for healing emotional issues or does it help people with psychological issues?
I think that serious emotional issues lead to physical illness. For instance, say a client comes to me and tells me that she has liver issues. So, during Reiki, when I come to the area of the body that contains the liver, nine times out of ten I’ll find that there’s an energy blockage there.
People are human. We get caught up in our human emotions. We get so blocked that we get narrow in our thinking and we become resistant to unblocking. So if you’re having blockage issues, unless you’re willing to work on those issues, you’re going to create the physical issues – while not even realizing that you’re creating it.
Emotional problems lead to physical problems. Physical problems can be cleared if you’re willing to work on the emotional issues.
Reiki’s intelligence is so much higher than ours – because it comes from our Creator, God, whatever you want to call it. It’s so intelligent that it over-rides any blockage that we have.
As long as you’re open enough to let the Reiki in, it will work.
If everyone got Reiki once a month, we wouldn’t have these world problems we’re having today!
How would you advise new Reiki practitioners to use Reiki to help heal?
I visualize Humanity as a disco ball. A disco ball has these teeny mirrors all around the ball. Because each of us is a unique entity, each human is standing on a different mirror. There are as many mirrors as there are individuals.
If you were standing on one of those little mirrors on the top of the ball, we would see you at different angles depending on our location on the disco ball. Someone on top of the disco ball would see you at a different angle than someone standing next to you on the ball. Our view of each other changes depending on where we stand.
Because we are all so unique, I want each Reiki practitioner to take the teachings they learn and adapt the teaching to their clear mind no matter where they are in humanity – where they are on the disco ball. We are all perfect in God’s eyes, we just don’t all think alike. Do Reiki from your perspective and you will do it from your soul.
I’m so against standardizing Reiki. I don’t want that. I want you to do Reiki based on your relationship with pure Love. You will have a different relationship with Love than another person. Reiki needs to be unique to each person.